Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Moment That Forever Changed My Life!

{tapping mic} Is this thing on???

Well hello there people in blog land! It's been a while since I've blogged and well, quite frankly, my world has been turned upside down since the time I took time to sit down and write a post! 

I'll go ahead and warn you that the upcoming post here has absolutely NOTHING to do with education, or a cool product or even teaching {so I won't be mad if you decide to quit reading now}. What's about to unfold in this blog post is the last 7 months of my life that has been a whirlwind....to say the least. 

Maybe you can relate....

We all have those moments in life that will stick with you for a lifetime. Those memories that you are pretty sure you'll remember, even when you're old and wondering around aimlessly. Those moments that you wish you never had to remember but you do because they become part of you and shape you in every way.  Well, one of those moments happened to me shortly after writing the last blog post before today, which was this past November.  

It was early December when my mom {in GA} Facetimed me {here in England} to chat and somewhere in the conversation, she let me know that had an upcoming mammogram appointment. I said okay and we continued on with our daily musings of everything going on between our two countries. 

A few days later she casually mentioned that her mammogram went a little differently than normal. When the nurse was using the boobie squasher machine {I have no idea the real name, that's just what we've always called it} her breast wouldn't lay just right. The nurse had a hard time getting it squash down, noticing that it was a little firm in some spots. A few days later, December 15th to be exact, was when we got the news....the nurse had in fact felt something odd....she felt cancer. The doctor didn't end up seeing much in the mammogram films but rather he acted on the nurse's notes that something wasn't right. He decided to do a biopsy to be 100% certain of what he thought it was and days later we were informed that yes {insert those dreaded words} my mom has cancer!

And not only did she have breast cancer....she had stage 3 breast cancer!

Talk about your heart stopping.

The rest of my life flashed before my eyes. The rest of my kids lives flashed before my eyes. Holidays, birthdays, vacations and every happy moment flashed before my eyes....but without my mom present! That was gut wrenching!!! It was almost more than I could bare. 

I allowed myself a few solid days of crying...which I did often. After that I made up my mind that my mom not being in my future life, wasn't an option. If she was going to fight, so was I. We would fight this battle together...miles and an ocean apart, but together nonetheless. 

She started chemo on January 15th. She had 4 doses of the REALLY bad chemo {often referred to as the 'red devil' which is red like kool-aid and makes all of your hair fall out} every other week. She then begin weekly treatments at the beginning of March that would last for 3 months!! As you can imagine, she was slap worn out!! Her body had been out through hell and she has experienced the worst side effects that you could imagine. Her last treatment was on Friday May 29th. 
(A pink boa to celebrate the last chemo!)

She is now in the resting phase. She is now letting her body try to recuperate. Her numbers need to come back up before her surgery. Her side effects are slowly fading away and even the tiniest amount of peach fuzz hair is starting to grow. Chemo is just no joke!! 
(My mom and I went I visited her in late January.)

She has a double mastectomy surgery planned for July 6th. I'll be flying back to the states a few days before that to accompany her through this next phase and thankfully I'll be able to stay for a few weeks! 

I guess I shared all of this to not only explain my blogging absence but to also let you know that there IS light at the end of a daunting cancer tunnel. While I was not the person with cancer, being a cheerleader and supporter can be very difficult too. Keeping a brave face and always offering words of encouragement {even when you aren't so sure of things} can be exhausting. So if you are the cheerleader to someone with cancer, keep going! Keep cheering and keep those Pom Poms waving. It will help more than you will ever know!! 

Cancer is a big ugly word that can be part of your life, but it doesn't have to define your life!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Thanksgiving Math Printables are here!!

Good Monday folks!
Is everyone feeling refreshed after another lovely weekend?
I sure am! 
There is nothing like some good ol' family time to rejuvenate me!! Family time mixed with a little shopping mixed with a little football...Aghhhh, it's the weekend of dreams for me!

Mixed in with family, shopping and football, I was able to put the finishing touches on my Thanksgiving {save your ink} Math Printables Unit! I really like how it all turned out and I have plans to add a few more pages soon! 

Take a look at a few pages that my daughter practiced! She's so eager to try the printables and games that I make...I love it! It makes my teacher heart very happy that she's always willing (and eager) to learn! 

Here it is:
 Here's an overview of most everything that's included:
Tally Marks
Working on number words
Ordering number words
Numbers, number words and one-to-one correspondence
Sorting those shapes
Identifying coins and their value
Teen Numbers
There are even more skills covered so be sure to check it out! 
Click on any picture to take you the TpT listing! 

While you're there be sure to check out my other Thanksgiving items that you might enjoy:
(Click on each picture to see more details!)

Early this morning I was browsing through Pinterest and I found some of the cutest pins ever! Here a few that I just had to share! They are so simple!!
Click on each picture to view its original source:

A Turkey made from tissue paper!
 An east popsicle magnet!
A cute folding craft stick craft!
And look at this cute little turkey!
Aren't those cute?? I love them!

As always, keep working hard, the holiday's are close!!
Have a great week!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Halloween Ideas For The Classroom!

Halloween is fast approaching and I love it!
Not only do I love all the decorations and colors associated with Halloween, I love the costumes, candy and all the excitement the kids get from dressing up and acting silly!!

Let's talk Pinterest for a minute!
I am on there frequently looking for other great ideas from ordinary people just like me. On my Pinterest account, I have tons of school boards and I specifically have a Halloween board. I love pinning great Halloween ideas. {Click here to check it out now and be sure to follow me if you aren't already!} 

Anywho, I wanted to show you a few of the great Halloween related pins that I recently found! 
I love them!!
{You can click on any of the pictures to view them on my Pinterest!}
First up, a cute and easy craft!
Sensory bin ideas!
A cute way to give candy!
A cute and easy card/craft for students!
An adorable spider craft!
What an awesome idea for a classroom door!!
Holy cuteness!! I love this easy bunting! How stinkin' creative!
And then I started to find the cutest pumpkin designs too!!! Look how cute these are!
Those are on my Pumpkin board--click here to view that board! 
I seriously could go on and on with the great ideas I've found---but I'll spare you for now!
Be sure to click any of the pictures to be taken to their original source and for goodness sakes, you scroll through those Pinterest boards! You'll thank me later {after you've lost a few hours of your day!} :) 

While we are talking Halloween, I finished another little Halloween goody last night!
It includes numbers 1-20 so that you can differentiate for your students!
Here's what it looks like! 
Students are matching the number, number word, base ten blocks and tally marks. 
Click here to view it on TpT! 

And here are few other items that are Halloween themed too!
Click the pictures above to view them or
 you can view ALL of my Halloween themed creations 
all at once by clicking HERE

Sunday, October 5, 2014

What Makes A Substitute Teacher great?

If you have been following my blog for ANY amount of time, you know my story....I'm a Kindergarten teacher who moved across the big pond and I currently reside in England! Since moving here six months ago, I've looked for teaching jobs but they are hard to come by and it seems that the key to getting in to schools is by being a substitute first. 

So, that's where I'm at now! 
I've gone through loads of paperwork and I'm proud to say, I start my journey as a substitute teacher tomorrow---I will be in a 1st grade class! 

I'm filled with tons emotions----
I'm happy to be working again {I'm such a busy body!}
I'm scared of the unknown
I'm confident in what I know and my abilities as a teacher
I'm anxious about not knowing what kind of class I will have
I'm eager to get started......And I could go on and on {but I'll spare you! HA}

So, as a teacher, we've all had subs. We've had GREAT subs and not so great ones, both of which stick out in my mind. I'm now trying to remember what made them awesome or what made them so horrible. But unfortunately, we never REALLY know what makes a great substitute great, since we aren't there when they are! 

So my question to you is:
Have you ever been a substitute before? 
If so, what are some tricks or tips that you can pass on to me?
And if not, what are some attributes that make subs great? 

I'd love for you to leave me some comments/suggestions/tips/tricks about being the best substitute that I can be! :)  

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Halloween Is Upon Us! {FREEBIE Included!}

It is officially October which can only mean one thing....it's to bust out new "not so spooky" resources!! Here at the Mrs. Hodge and Her Kindergarten Kids headquarters {aka my home} I've have the creating bug!! I've been busy working everyday to create some of my best resources yet and I can't wait any longer to show you my two newest products {and freebie}! 

First up is my Halloween -save your ink- Math Printables! 
(I'm kind of in love with the cover! Eeeekkkk!!!)
Click on the picture to view it on TpT!
 Here is a quick preview of most of the pages included in the unit!
This unit includes skills like one-to-one counting, number words, ten frames, tally marks, coin identification, shapes, even/odd numbers and patterns!!

My daughter could NOT wait to get her hands on these sheets.  I was printing a few pages off to check for clarity and such when she started in on me to do some of them.  Being that good mother/teacher that I am, I obliged and let her have it! You would have thought I just had given her gold.  She was in her element for sure!

Next up is the math's counter part---the Halloween -save your ink-Literacy Printables!
Click on the picture to view it on Tpt!
 Here's an overview of what's included in this pack!
This unit includes skills such as capital letters, lower case letters, matching capital and lower case letters, vowels/constants, initial sounds, real/nonsense words, middle sounds, rhyming and CVC words!!

Again, my little school girl had a hay-day with these!
I hope you like what you see and I hope they will serve your kiddos well at school! They are currently on sale if you'd like to snatch them up now!! 

Now, on to the freebie I think you will love!
Click the picture to download it now!!
I created this graphing activity because it is a great skill that kids can start practicing early on in the school year! The bright colors and cute graphics are sure to keep your students engaged. I simply slip the graph inside of a clear page protector, I give my students a few dry erase markers, a pencil and a paperclip for a spinner and voila--an instant math center that is easy and reusable! I hope you can use this freebie in your classroom!! 

Click on any of the pictures to view them on TpT!

Have a fun and "not so spooky" October!!!